Local author pens new book

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Audrie Clifford fell for her main character in her new book “Maggie Whitson.”

She always liked the character, an older woman who has to spend several months in a nursing home, but the more Clifford wrote about Maggie, the more she connected and the more real Maggie became.

Clifford describes Maggie as an opinionated old lady.

“I like spirited old ladies,” she said. “The way I feel about opinions is, by the time you are mature, if you don’t have an opinion you haven’t been paying attention.”

But it is clear in the book that Maggie has been paying attention all her life and her opinion, as she interacts with the other residents at the nursing home, is based firmly in her life story and her sense of humor.

Maggie’s opinion is that she needs to give everyone a fair shake and the opportunity to prove themselves.

Her journey through the world of the residents at the home shows Maggie still has the flexibility of mind to listen and change in spite of her opinionated self.

She gives everyone a fair shake — including the sexist, racist Walter — before drawing her own judgment and then dealing with things in her own slightly irreverent way.

Maggie is a problem solver with no desire to be recognized for her deeds. From getting two lonely people together for a more comfortable life to secretly providing Christmas gifts, she is not a hands-off type of person.

Setting out to get to know her fellow residents at the home, Maggie tells her own story in a straightforward way, interspersing her experiences at the home with her own life experiences, love for New Mexico, and irascible behavior behind the backs of the nurses and administration of the home.

She talks about her adventures with her best friend, Cassie, and leads the reader gently through her own part in Cassie’s death.

On the whole, Maggie Whitson is a lovely, revealing, thoughtful book that is very easy to read and can offer the reader some insights they may never have thought of. Growing old with Maggie’s strength and ability to stick to her own opinion and method would be an honorable way for anyone to live.

Clifford has grown through the experience of her previous two books, “Another Damn Newcomer” and “Dimensions.” Her newest addition is well rounded and smooth.

The Socorro Public Library hosts a book signing for “Maggie Whitson” at 2 p.m. Saturday. Books will be available for purchase at that time. “Maggie Whitson” is also available for $14.95 through Amazon.com.

 

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